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The Urban Tulsa responds; Simpson retires from cartooning

As promised by the Urban Tulsa publisher, Keith Skrzypczak, today’s edition contains the formal response from the paper regarding the accusations of plagiarism by its cartoonist David Simpson. Noted is the news that Simpson has stated that he is retiring from editorial cartooning.

Dave Simpson, an award-winning, nationally syndicated former editorial cartoonist with the erstwhile afternoon daily Tulsa Tribune, and then with the morning daily Tulsa World, began drawing cartoons for Urban Tulsa Weekly some several years ago. His cartoon for the Oct. 20-26 Issue on Page 7 depicted what UTW was told was his original conception of the city of Tulsa’s ongoing dispute and angst with the taxpayer bailout of Great Plains Airlines.

Some of Simpson’s peers in the editorial cartoon business noticed a similarity of this piece to a cartoon the famed, Pulitzer Prize winning Chicago Tribune cartoonist Jeff MacNelly drew in the late ’70s depicting former President Jimmy Carter’s contrived bailout of the B-1 bomber. Simpson apologizes to Urban Tulsa readers for his using of the late MacNelly’s original cartoon to illustrate a concept he would have liked to have called his own. At the same time, Simpson has resigned from his contracted weekly gig at UTW and said he is retiring from the editorial cartooning business.

We respect his decision and appreciate the forgiveness of Simpson by Jeff’s widow, Susie MacNelly in this matter.

The publisher tells me that he is committed to finding a new cartoonist.

Community Comments

#1 Howard Tayler
November/2/2011
@ 10:58 am

“In the interest of journalistic disingenuity we’ve decided not to tell you that we fired Simpson, that he’s been stealing other people’s work for years, and that Susie MacNelly, a saint of a woman, still didn’t seem particularly forgiving when Simpson lied to her in his face-saving attempt at an apology.”

#2 Jeff Darcy
November/2/2011
@ 12:05 pm

News: Sherffius retires as Editorial cartoonist for Colorado paper.
Simpson to draw Sherffius cartoons for Colorado paper

#3 Jeff Pert
November/2/2011
@ 12:22 pm

“…noticed a similarity of this piece to a cartoon…” Writing like this isn’t helping the chances of an industry attempting to ward off irrelevancy.

#4 Gerry Mooney
November/2/2011
@ 4:18 pm

Yes, he’s retiring to make time for his new career, STEALING.

#5 Gerry Mooney
November/3/2011
@ 8:13 am

…depicted what UTW was told was his original conception of the city of Tulsa?s ongoing dispute…

Really? Do you think he walked in and announced “This is my original conception”? He told them that? Seems odd.

On the other hand, if you download the pdf of the magazine, right under the notice about Simpson’s “retirement” they announce a contest for a new editorial cartoonist, and it doesn’t say “no plagiarism”, sooooo, get out your MacNelly files everyone!

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